Law enforcement officers work at the scene where people were found dead inside a trailer truck in San Antonio, Texas, U.S

At least 46 bodies of people believed to be migrants were found lifeless in and around a tractor-trailer that has been abandoned on the outskirts of San Antonio, a city in the state of Texas, city officials said.

San Antonio Fire Chief, Charles Hood told reporters that 16 people consisting of 12 adults and 4 children had been transported to the hospital alive but suffering from heat exhaustion and apparent dehydration.

San Antonio City Mayor described the death of 46 people believed to have crossed into the United States from Mexico as a ‘horrific human tragedy’.

“The plight of migrants seeking refuge is always a humanitarian crisis,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg of San Antonio told reporters late Monday. “But tonight we are dealing with a horrific human tragedy.”

Three people are in police custody, though their connection to the situation is unclear. Police Chief Bill McManus said at a news conference Monday night. Earlier in the day, officers had been searching for the driver of the vehicle, who appeared to have abandoned the truck sometime before it was discovered in a remote area near railroad tracks and auto salvage yards southwest of downtown. Chief McManus did not say if the driver was among those detained.

Governor Greg Abbott of Texas has blamed the death on President Joe Biden. He made the short statement while reacting to the incident on Twitter.  

“These deaths are on Biden. They are a result
of his deadly open border policies. They show the deadly consequences of his refusal to enforce the law.”

Authorities told local media officers received a call Sunday night regarding a person held inside the home at gunpoint.

“It appears that they had been part of a potential human smuggling operation and the best we can determine; they had been there for perhaps a couple of days,” Eric Hightower, Deputy Chief, SAPD said according to News 4 San Antonio. “They had not been fed or cared for. They had not been given water or food or anything like that and they were obviously trying to get some help.”

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